Poems

Can my own poem appear here?

  • Yes. Enter for our Poems Please Me Prize (biennial – next planned for 2017). Winning and commended entries are posted. Other poets may be invited to contribute.
  • Your poem may be serious or lighthearted, but should preferably have wide appeal – sometimes through humour, often by sharing common experience, usually offering a slightly different point of view… or simply by playing with words
  • The meaning should be fairly clear

Can you help me find poems I’ll enjoy reading?

Yes – titles are followed by broad subject terms/comment. But you may find it just as much fun to explore the poems at random. All poems & illustrations remain the copyright of the authors. Plus many more winners in 2015 – see list and links here.

Pure as Silver by Debbie Stevens. Original, gentle, beguiling – a pleasant fantasy about a sound heard at midnight. Sponsor’s Award in Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

Snapshots by Naomi Matthews. Sharp images, like a collection of photos, of urban life – with a slight sting in the tail. Sponsor’s Award in Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

Grey Mullet by Mark Totterdell. The flash of fish in the July sun – movement caught in a poem. Shortlisted for the Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

Her Pegasus by Jo Senior. An extraordinarily powerful and beautiful poem with stunning images. Live the dream and travel to the stars with this poem. Shortlisted for the Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

Lessons by Pat Borthwick. A fishing rod… beautifully rich images and language, imaginative, moving from the construction of a fishing rod to the capture of a living creature. A very worthy Highly Commended for the Poems Please Me Prize 2014

Egg by Mark Totterdell. Beautifully simple poem about a delicate egg, which he fails to handle with sufficient care. Shortlisted for the Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

Milk Tooth by Ian Chamberlain. A child’s milk tooth, and the surrounding traditions, with interesting and well-handled comparison to an acorn falling from its cup. Highly Commended in Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

Bye Pee! by Lynne Arrol. Toilet-training tantrums, humour. Shortlisted in Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

White Surf at Macrihanish by Pat Borthwick. Great power and striking images. An artist on beach swept away by a storm. Second prize in the Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

Pheasants and Ravens by Mark Totterdell. Rich comparison of the two creatures. Seemingly simple, but very satisfying read, seeing and enjoying a bit more each time. With a small twist in the birds’ tale. First prize in Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

A history of brief love and oranges by Jo Senior. Sensuous, luscious, fruity encounters. Highly Commended in Poems Please Me Prize 2014.

Felled Pine by Alison Collins. ‘Love is strong as death … many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it’ (Song of Songs). Evocative, challenging, tricky to understand. Placed 3rd in Poems Please Me Prize 2014

Dance of the earth by Sara Khorasani – winner of first prize in our 2013 competition inspired by the theme Movement. Conveying the simple (impossible?) delight of allowing your body to be at one with natural forces.

Photograph of Alice with Bubbles by Annie Fisher – second prizewinner in our 2013 competition. Alice has all the time in the world for simple pleasures… why is it that Grandma finds time racing and hears a howling at the door…?

Michal doesn’t like ants by Yael Geva – highly commended in our 2013 competition. Thought-provoking and evocative reaction to urban terrorism. The poet lives in Tel-Aviv.

Rwanda by David Edwards – highly commended in our 2013 competition. An elephant, a young boy, soldiers – a tragic mix.

Vancouver by night by Colin Begg – highly commended in our 2013 competition. Vivid harbour sights and sounds – and movement.

Wind by Colin Rennie – highly commended in our 2013 competition. Pleasing – and deceptively simple take on the all-pervading, restless wind.

Winter Birds (Seven Haiku) by Anthony Watts – haiku/winter/birds – seven haiku combining to paint a winter birdscape, from the poet’s collection Steart Point & other Poems.

Rainbow Portrait by Tony French – gentle, dream-like portrait of a girl painted with each colour of the rainbow.

Redbreast by Anthony Watts – haiku/Christmas/winter/birds/garden – five haiku, each is also a stanza in a unified poem, and undeniably seasonal, each with an acute observation and comparison.

On the Beach by D A Prince – Spain/Med/out of season/tourism/beach/children – great phrases making an out-of-season beach vivid, showing what adults and children remember… and the change from fishing to tourism. Commended in first Poems Please Me competition.

Holiday in Sidmouth 1957 by Graham Burchell – caravan/boredom – atmospheric evocation of sad childhood holiday, perhaps in context a not directly stated unhappy family time. Shortlisted in first Poems Please Me competition.

Exmoor’s Gift – the River Exe by Tony French – Exmoor/Somerset/Devon – traces the river from high on Exmoor, through Somerset and Devon to the sea. Illustrated.

Anima by Richard Biddle – beach/water/play/sex – a couple play, like children again, perhaps with less innocence. Commended in first Poems Please Me competition.

The Fish Charmer by Genista Lewes – fish/water/beach/sea/skin/time – beautiful images with silky, silvery sounds to match the sparkling water, sun and fish – with words evoking the light, the various movements (ripple, wade, roll, cast, scatter) and clever pacing. A deceptively simple use of words, vividness and carefully creative devices including repetition, layout, half-rhymes.First prize in this website’s first Competition.

Bench in the Woods by Tony French – idyllic spot to enjoy, visit, share, and simply sit and watch, listen and reflect.

The Flute by Nigel Cameron – music/love/flute. Beautiful images of sound, and a relationship, by the late Nigel Cameron – architect, talented artist and gentle, sincere poet. Thank you, Nigel.

Midnight Cat by Katherine Thomas – cats/motorists/night/roads/humour – vivid picture of cat escaping house at night, told with fun, just a bit scary

1894: Fran Skating on Manor Pond by Julie Sampson – a snapshot of Victoriana/social history/slightly enigmatic – a girl skates, making her mark on a pond, while other members of her Victorian family make their mark in different ways

Discount Day by Tony French – age/illness/human behaviour – serious subject seen clearly with humour.

Gods by Tony French – psychological/love/sharing – bit tricky to understand on first reading.

Poem for a Cold Night by Tony French – spooky Halloween-style fun to get you shivering.

My Uncle Fred by Tony French. A vivid character sketch of Londoner in post-WWII terraced house, whose diaries are blogged 70 years on to the day (see link at foot of poem).

Hodgkins, John (Sgt) by Tony French. John (Tony’s cousin) was a rear gunner, killed in action in WWII. The poem shows it is difficult not to be affected by the past, by such loss of life, however brief the physical link…

Scent to Tease by Tony French – teasing, romantic survey of perfume across cultures and years.

Tonku – a selection of three-liners. (Tonku = 5-7-5 feet, as opposed to the haiku’s 5-7-5 syllables.)